The whole world has been watching the Senate confirmation hearing of Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Not just because he is poised to take over one of the most important jobs in the country where his decisions will resonate for generations to come — there have also been some disturbing allegations against Kavanaugh in recent weeks; disturbing enough to give many senators pause when considering his confirmation. Not every senator, however. Many people are wondering if Maine Sen. Susan Collins is up for re-election after her controversial decision in favor of Brett Kavanaugh. In fact, there are already efforts underway to see her unseated come the next election.
Brett Kavanaugh was initially nominated to take over retiring Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy's seat on the bench in July. There were some who were concerned that Kavanaugh's political beliefs might swing SCOTUS to the right since he would be taking over for Justice Kennedy, who is a moderate. And then, of course, there were more concerns added to the heap; Dr. Christine Blaisey Ford testified in front of the Senate judicial committee that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when the two were both in high school in Washington, D.C. years ago. The New York Times reported that Kavanaugh denied all allegations, but the seeds of doubt had been sewn. Doubt that Kavanaugh's alleged behavior towards women had been reckless in the past. Fear that he might not have the fortitude and integrity required to sit on the bench of the highest court in the country.
And yet, Sen. Collins voted for him anyhow.
Slate reported that Collins was considered a swing vote in Kavanaugh's confirmation along with Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (who had previously asked for the FBI to investigate the sexual assault allegations against the nominee). She waited to announce her plan to support his confirmation, according to Slate, and did so with a 40-minute long speech that did not simply speak to Kavanaugh's judicial record but also appeared to be an attack against Dr. Ford's testimony. This simply added insult to injury, in the eyes of many voters; not to mention rather hypocritical in light of her response to sexual misconduct allegations against former Democratic Sen. Al Franken, as The Cut reported.
Here's the thing about being elected official; your actions have definite repercussions. Because yes, Susan Collins is up for re-election in 2020. She has actually been popular with moderate voters in the past and stood her ground on some serious issues, The Guardian reported that she opposed Donald Trump's presidential nomination and is an avid supporter of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling by the Supreme Court in 1973.
But it seems that is not enough. After flooding her office with calls asking her to oppose Kavanaugh, voters are disappointed in her decision. There's even a donation page dedicated to supporting whoever runs against her in the next election. The page, which is titled "Either Collins votes NO on Kavanaugh or we fund her future opponent," has raised nearly $3 million so far.
Now Collins is not without support. Fox News has been touting her as a real hero for "standing up to Democratic bullies" and voting for Kavanaugh. But the sad fact is this; she has been a senator since 1996 and has enjoyed a successful career, earning respect on both sides of the aisle. It's a shame to see her career potentially end over a decision she may come to regret.